Three young people are beginning their careers in conservation after completing their Kickstart training with Ribble Rivers Trust.

David Bevis, Bethany Ryan and Jay Malpas were all recruited by RRT under the government’s Kickstart scheme, launched in response to an expected surge in youth unemployment resulting from the pandemic.

David, 23, from Burnley, who is now volunteer supervisor, said: “To come straight out of university and get a job is very lucky and being from Burnley, it’s very rewarding to be part of something that benefits the area.”

They joined Health and Environmental Action Lancashire project, funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, and bosses were so impressed by their work during their six-month placements that they’ve all been offered roles at the charity.

During their placements, Bethany, Jay and David planted trees, tackled invasive species including Himalayan balsam, helped to clean rivers, and maintain RRT projects alongside the Trust team and river conservation trainees working with Robert Cooper who leads the conservation volunteer sessions.

Deputy chief executive, Harvey Hamilton-Thorpe, said: “The Kickstart scheme has been an important part of our Green Recovery Challenge funded programme, helping us to create jobs for young people keen to get into conservation.

“Ribble Rivers Trust is growing and developing, and it’s been great to offer opportunities for people to develop new skills and gain work experience, and to showcase ourselves as a good place to work and make a difference for our environment and the communities.   

"We are really pleased with our three recruits who’ve brought spades of enthusiasm, contributed ideas and become a valued part of the team.”